how to make a proper .diff

Francois Gouget fgouget at
Sat Jan 18 03:10:38 CST 2003

On Sat, 18 Jan 2003, Tom Wickline wrote:

> Hi,
> I have what may be a stupid question but im going to ask it :)
> If im working on lets say packaging.sgml and I finish one section
> and make a diff against cvs. Then should I refresh my packaging.sgml
> from cvs and start on section #2 ? This is what I have done...
> Because if I keep working on the same file the diff grows and I would send
> the same patch over and over.. So I am doing this the correct way ?

What I usually do is that I edit the diff. If the sections you work on
are disjoint, then that's easy, just submit the hunks (the @@ sections)
that are relevant.

Another option that I believe other people use is copy the file when
they submit the first patch and then diff against that instead of cvs.
So for instance:

  cp packaging.sgml packaging.sgml.20030119
  # work on packaging.sgml
  diff -u packaging.sgml.20030119 packaging.sgml >cvs.diff

Of course, if Alexandre commits your patch to CVS, then you don't need
to play these tricks. Just do a 'cvs update' to retrieve the latest
version from CVS. Usually the merge will happen automatically since you
will have exactly the same things as what's in CVS. If not you will have
some manual merging to do, but that's not really hard.

Francois Gouget         fgouget at
The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing quite respectable
                                  -- Paul Dean

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